News

Construction trades say job growth is key issue in upcoming elections

With two new stadiums in the works and $1 billion in new state infrastructure investments – as well as jobs-creating regional improvements like the Destination Medical Center here – the Building Trades unions in Minnesota are riding a wave of momentum.

That momentum is at stake in elections up and down the Nov. 4 ballot, speakers warned delegates to the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council’s annual convention at the Kahler Hotel last week. Read more »

Trades showcase apprenticeship programs at Construct Tomorrow career fair

Maria Meza watched intently as Robbie Luukkonen, a journeyman member of Bricklayers Local 1, installed ceramic tile onto a makeshift practice wall. When Luukkonen had finished the demonstration, Meza picked up the tools and tried tiling for herself.

This is the way Meza, who graduated from St. Paul Johnson High School in the spring, learns best. “I’m a hands-on type of person,” she explained. “I’m not the type of person to sit behind a computer all day.” Read more »

Laborers press Minnetonka school board to investigate child-labor charges

On July 24 Laborers Local 563 called on the Minnetonka School Board to commission an independent investigation into possible violations of state and federal child-labor laws stemming from construction work at district’s Scenic Heights Elementary School. Read more »

MN Vikings Stadium Construction up close and personal

Operating Engineers Local 49 has set up a Pinterest site showing pictures of the site of the new stadium- from many heights and angles! Check it out, and share (pin) the pictures with friends, colleagues, family, and anybody who has an interest in construction projects up close and personal. Great stuff!

Fixing the Highway Trust Fund Isn't Rocket Science, but Stakes Are High

The Highway Trust Fund pays for the upkeep of our roads, bridges and public transit. Yet for more than two decades, Congress has failed to increase its funding. The fund hasn't kept up with inflation, let alone the urgent needs for the modernization of our transportation systems. Now a crisis, years in the making, is coming to a head. Read more »

LABORERS FILE SECOND CHILD LABOR COMPLAINT IN TWO WEEKS OVER WORK AT TWIN CITIES SCHOOLS

A formal complaint was submitted today to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and the United States Department of Labor on behalf of Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 563, regarding a possible violation of child labor laws at a construction site at a Minnetonka, Minnesota elementary school. Read more »

Unions raise safety concerns at Ridgedale mall construction site

Laborers, bricklayers, painters, electricians and other union craftspeople picketed together outside Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka this morning, targeting several contractors working inside the mall that are undermining area wage and safety standards, according to the unions.

Ridgedale’s Chicago-based ownership group, General Growth Properties (GGP), is spending $100 million to upgrade the mall, which opened in 1974. Several tenants are investing in improvements to their retail facilities as well.

But progress on the Ridgedale renovation has been anything but smooth. Read more »

LABORERS PICKET RIDGEDALE CENTER RENOVATION CONTRACTORS DUE TO SAFETY AND WAGE CONCERNS

Shoppers at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka will see signs for more than just sales as they visit the mall today.  Members of Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 563 have been onsite since dawn picketing contractors working on general mall and tenant improvements. Local 563 is just one of the many construction trade unions that have mounted pickets at the mall today over pay and safety concerns. Read more »

Construction Hits Five-Year High in New Jobs Report, Unions Making Gains in Unexpected Places

The latest numbers from the ADP jobs report show construction at a five-year high.  Last month, construction jobs grew by 36,000, more than double May’s 17,000 added jobs and the largest monthly gain since February of 2006.  

The sharp rise in construction jobs signals a surging housing market.  According to ADP, 6.1 million people are now employed in the construction industry. Read more »

The Skilled Workers Behind the Green Line

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As Minnesotans finally get to enjoy the Green Line, the construction workers who built it are basking in the satisfaction of a job well done. All told, Green Line construction created thousands of jobs, launching hundreds of new careers in several skilled construction roles. Read more »